A famous quote from author Edgar Rice Burroughs begins with “We are, all of us, creatures of habit”. Good or bad, we all have many, many habits.
As for me, other than the basic survival habits, I have almost no good habits that will move me forward in life and quite a few bad habits that have caused significant harm.
Now, there’s no way in hell I’m even remotely qualified to get into the psychology of habits and personally, I believe a significant amount of experts on the brain do a lot of guessing due to the extreme complexity of our brains. How and why we do things, what part of the brain these things stem from, etc., etc. These guys really need a lifetime of study to even scratch the surface of figuring out our minds. That said, I did read an interesting interview at Harvard Business Review with reporter and author Charles Duhigg. This interview was conducted in June of 2012 while he was promoting his newly released book The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business.(Affiliate Disclaimer: I make money if you buy the book)
Although I haven’t purchased the book, I did listen to and read the interview at the HBR page and thought it was quite interesting.
While I continue to work on breaking some of my terrible habits, I also need to create some more productive and healthy ones if I’m going to accomplish what I claim I want to accomplish.
Fortunately, as always, we have apps for that. 🙂
There are quite a few apps on habit and goal tracking. I narrowed my choices down to two after having one of them downloaded and then ignoring it(SMH) for quite a while on my tablet.
The first habit tracking app that I had installed was HabitBull. I initially installed this on my tablet at least 2 months ago and then proceeded to ignore it. Just like the home gym in my dressing room, tools and equipment won’t help you one damn bit if you don’t bother using them.
After neglecting the app, I decided to start using it again and was creating some simple habits that I really need to do. And by simple, I mean really, really simple. I am so off track in my life that I felt the urge to create reminders to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner as well as to go to bed. LOL That’s right, I almost never eat breakfast or lunch and I usually just stay awake until I pass out. None of this is healthy and I need to change it. It’s almost insane that I have to remind myself to do these basic things at this point, but that’s how far gone I am/was.
As it turns out, HabitBull only lets you create 5 habits to track with the free version. Being the cheap bastard that I am, I decided to check out other apps instead of paying the whopping $4.99 ONE TIME FEE for the premium service.
That led me to an app called Rewire. I liked the name and the reviews and number of downloads were similar to HabitBull, so I decided to download it and delete HabitBull.
Ooops, the same problem. A 5 habit limit on the free version with a $4.99 premium upgrade fee.
Damn it, this is going to cost me almost the price of a pack of cigarettes if I really want to do it right.
Okay, decision time. Which app am I going to go with.
I found both to be pretty simple and easy to use, so there was no real big difference there for me.
After looking at the modest differences between the two apps, I decided to go back to my original choice, HabitBull. I really don’t think you can go wrong with either one.
After begrudgingly parting with my $4.99 I now have 7 almost ridiculously simple habits set up in an effort to get me headed in the right direction. Now I just have to make sure I keep my tablet handy so that I can actually remind myself to do these things.
I’ll post some updates on the progress of this little self-improvement project in a couple weeks.
Let me know what, if anything, you use to help you create and/or break habits in the comments below.